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Nelson: Rounds Dishonest on EB-5 Corruption

Looking for a Republican Senate candidate who will challenge Marion Michael Rounds on his enthusiastic promotion and continued defense of South Dakota's EB-5 visa investment program, now under investigation by the feds?

Forget Jason Ranvsborg. He's still practicing talking points on the easy topics.

Forget Annette Bosworth. She can't even spell EB-5.

Larry Rhoden might be convinced to speak up about Rounds's EB-5 activities, although he supported legislation in 2004 and 2008 that eased our corporate farming restrictions and facilitated the influx of foreign investor dollars into EB-5 corporate ag operations like mega-dairies, Northern Beef Packers and Dakota Provisions. It wouldn't be the first time that Rhoden has taken a campaign-trail position that contradicts his voting record.

The only GOP challenger clearly willing to take the EB-5 fight to Rounds is Stace Nelson, who says Rounds is being dishonest with South Dakota voters about corruption in the EB-5 program:

We are witnessing corruption in South Dakota that is akin to Third World country corruption. We had politicians that happily sold out that state of South Dakota to get access to communist Chinese money. Wasted millions of taxpayer dollars to do so. I don't know of anybody in my field (military intelligence) that would think it was wise or prudent for any elected official to marry South Dakota taxpayer dollars with communist Chinese interests.

I haven't been real impressed with the openness that's come forward so far. They knew that was going on, and they kept this secret for how long. The Rounds people knew about this, they didn't tell people it was ongoing. And he's been very coy about it, and he's been avoiding debates where this would have come forward. An honest man has got nothing to hide. And if he truly wanted to serve South Dakotans, instead of hiding from the debates, he would have showed up for the last four months of debates that were scheduled [Stace Nelson, interviewed by Joe O'Sullivan, "Nelson Claims He's the Real Conservative in Senate Race," Rapid City Journal, 2014.03.22].

Calling South Dakota under the Rounds-Daugaard administration not just corrupt, but Third-World corrupt—can Nelson get establishment GOP voters to see things that way and vote for him in the primary to root out such ills?


  1. owen reitzel 2014.03.22

    I hope that Stace keeps attacking and people will finally wise up on Rounds. But my question to Stace is if Rounds does win the primary will Stace keep attacking or wil he stop?
    I'm not saying that he has to endorse Weiland but will he still try to explain what Rounds is to the people? For the sae of South Dakota?

  2. grudznick 2014.03.22

    Mr. Reitzel, I have to wonder if Mr. Weiland would like that or not. He might ask the sore loser to shut the heck up because he'd be rubbing off ugliness onto Mr. Weiland's candidacy. Mr. Weiland seems a decent enough fellow and probably wouldn't want to have Nelson associated with him.

  3. advocate 2014.03.22

    I think the Weiland campaign jumps up into the air and yells "yippee" every time Nelson mentions EB-5. Their best bet against Rounds is that the EB-5 scandal trips him avoid the stink surrounding negative campaigning, what better to have a third-party like Nelson do your dirty work?

  4. John Tsitrian 2014.03.22

    What's so negative about bringing up Rounds and his association with EB-5, advocate? I think Rounds' track record should be fair game and that Weiland needs to step it up on bringing that fiasco into the campaign. My piece in The Constant Commoner over on the right elaborates on my views.

  5. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.03.22

    I sure hope that folks in the Republican party will finally come out of their Perry Winkle sleep and realize what the Round/Daugaard tandem have done to this State in the last 11 plus years. I also hope that they will wake up to the fact that the reason the establishment in the Republican party doesn't like Stace Nelson, is because he will not let them pull the wool over the people's eyes. He calls dishonesty for what it is whether in the halls of the legislature or on the campaign trail. I have said in the past that Mr Nelson and I don't agree on everything ideologically, but we do agree on one thing and that is if you can't be honest, you are not deserving of the public truest. In my eyes, Stace Nelson has earned that trust and my vote in June and maybe in November. I remind readers of this post how Mike Rounds got the governor nomination in 2002. It was because of some mud slinging between the candidacies of two very deserving people in the governor's race, Steve Kirby and Mark Barnett. I don't value mud slinging but it carries a lot less bad mark in my eyes than untruthfulness.

  6. Jenny 2014.03.22

    'Bout time one of the candidates spoke up on this.

  7. Jerry 2014.03.22

    Can't spell EB-5, is closer than you think. She was kind of daffy to invite all for a keg party.

  8. Disgusted Dakotan 2014.03.22

    Advocate points out the reason why people need to shun Rounds, he is UNELECTABLE! The federal investigation into his corruption is still ongoing! The Democrats are hoping and praying the GOP nominee is Rounds! It is the only way Weiland can win!

  9. Tara Volesky 2014.03.22

    We need the honest Republicans, Democrats and Independents working together to oust Daugaard and Rounds. EB-5 and corruption should be the center peace of the Senatorial and Gubernatorial elections. Put SD first.

  10. owen reitzel 2014.03.22

    I agree Tara. But like it or not Rounds has the lead and if he should win the Republican nomination it'll be interesting to see if the other Republicans will keep the pressure on Rounds on the EB-5. Will they put SD first or not?

    And Disgusted-Weiland can beat any of the Republcans.

  11. John Tsitrian 2014.03.22

    Any impressions of how the Brookings DemFest went tonight?

  12. Disgusted Dakotan 2014.03.23

    @Reitzel all of the polls (other than Weilands) showed all the candidates except Bosworth beating Weiland. The only chance Weiland has is if Rounds is the nominee as the Democrats can make serious hay out of the ongoing federal investigation into the corruption that occurred in the Rounds administration. Other than that? No way an Obama/Daschle Democrat like Weiland wins.

  13. BIll DIthmer 2014.03.23

    Where do I go to find out homes much revenue could be raised by increasing sales tax by a percentage point?

    The Blindman

  14. owen reitzel 2014.03.23

    The only poll I can find Disgusted shows Rounds ahead, which I think will change.
    Hopefully people will wise up and realize what a joke the right-wing is and that they really don't care about the average person.

  15. Disgusted Dakotan 2014.03.23

    @Reitzel such comments are ignorant when made by either side of the political discussion.

  16. owen reitzel 2014.03.23

    Ignorant Disgusted? Truth hurts. The right loves to scare the hell out of people and offer no solutions. That is hopefully the people of South Dakota will see.

  17. Disgusted Dakotan 2014.03.23

    @Reitzel it is "ignorant" to make stereo typing sweeping statements of any group of people, regarding their race, color, or creed. Please show me your detailed research where you have talked extensively with every "right winger" that led you to make such an educated assessment that all "right wingers" do not care for people.

  18. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.03.23

    Bill, check out the revenue projections submitted by the Bureau of Finance and Management to the Legislature's Joint Appropriations Committee on March 10, 2014:

    BFM says the sales and use tax will generate $818 million for FY 2014 and $848 million for FY 2015. That's from a 4% state sales tax. Bump up one percentage point, to 5%, and you raise that revenue by a quarter, or, for FY 2015, about $212 million.

    36 states support higher state sales tax rates than South Dakota's 4%. 30 states do not levy sales tax on food.

  19. owen reitzel 2014.03.23

    I don't have to "talk" to every right winger Disgusted. I only have to see the actions and fear mongerling from the right. From being against the ACA, voting 51 times to defund it, and voting to cut funding for SNAP and wanting even more cuts. I could go on.
    And best of all offereing no solutions at all.

  20. Randy Amundson 2014.03.24

    reitzel, you did say right wingers don't care for the average person. That is a sweeping statement, and it is ignorant. Right wingers want the average person to have the opportunity to move from being average to being above average in income and opportunity. Hell, they'd be even happier if those same average people made it big. That is what right wing is all about, the ability for you to make as much as you are able and to keep control of as much of it as you should.

  21. Tara Volesky 2014.03.24

    I would focus on the Governor's race. That's the office that affects us the most. Congress is drunk with power and owned and operated by corporations and lobbyists. So is Pierre, but the Governor can't hide out in DC and he doesn't have Reid and McConnell to answer too. A good Governor will hold our congressman accountable and get on them for the legalization of hemp.

  22. John Tsitrian 2014.03.24

    Admirable sentiments, Mr. Amundson, and as a Republican myself I share them. Why do you suppose right-wingers in South Dakota, who embrace the notion that they're for creating the "opportunity to move from being average to being above average in income and opportunity" continue to perpetuate a status quo that has below average hourly wages, specifically about $1/hr below the average of our bordering states? And are South Dakotas teachers exempt from the right-wing belief in creating opportunities to rise above the average when it comes to "income and opportunity?"

  23. mike from iowa 2014.03.24

    Right wingers don't necessarily want anyone but those born into wealth to succeed. They are,however,gonna force everyone,except those born filthy rich,to go it alone without the benefits and advantages wingnuts bestow on the koch bros and their ilk. Johnny Poorboy can't break even,let alone succeed while wages are forcibly held down and goods and services are allowed to rise. What wingnuts can't or won't see is billionaires are already privileged beyond anything the rest can even dream of. They don't need any more gubmint largesse and they do need to pay their fair share of taxes.Clinton proved raising taxes is no detriment to a booming economy. Raygun and dumb bass dubya proved beyond a shadow of a doubt,that cutting taxes only leads to debt and deficits and recessions.

  24. owen reitzel 2014.03.24

    love how name calling starts. ignorant Amundson? might want to look in the mirror.
    I'd agree with you if the playing fiel was even, which it isn't.
    A sweeping statement? Maybe. But as I said earlier look at what the right wing supports.

  25. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.03.24

    Randy, that definition doesn't delineate "right wing" from "left wing." It's not a definition; it's propaganda. Left wingers want workers to have the same opportunity and liberty in the workplace.

    That distinction is also weak: right wingers seem interested in far more than the simply economic liberty issue you pose. Guns, God, gays, the flag, abortion... how do those issues integrate with maximizing take home pay? We could engage in some entertaining word play and shoehorn each of those issues into wages ("I oppose abortion because I want little fetuses to grow up and be able to control their own paychecks and not pay taxes..."), but you can't tell me that you definition of "right wing" is the core principle of right-wing politics from which all other policy positions flow.

    That said, I will agree that plenty of right-wingers are average people who want to improve their lot in life and would like to see the same for others. They just vote against their own interests ("What's the Matter with Kansas?") by falling for corporate fascists who cloak themselves in right-wing issues.

  26. Anne Beal 2014.03.24

    I am really curious about these Communist Investors. I suspect they are all oxymorons. I'd like to meet them!

  27. mike from iowa 2014.03.24

    Chinese investors weren't investing in South Dakota because they believe in SD,they are buying green cards to have access to all America offers. And to think wingnuts oppose immigration,unless it is for the well off.We don't want you(to come here,to have access to health care,to have an abortion,to become involved in politics,to succeed) unless,of course,you can afford it.

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